shiny blue car on street

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When you first drove your car off the lot, you were probably so proud. Your paint job looked shiny, new and immaculate. Over time, however, your car’s paint may have lost its luster. Every day, your vehicle is exposed to elements that can damage paint. Knowing what these things are and how to deal with them is one of the keys to keeping your car looking newer longer.

Here are five things you may not have realized that can damage your car’s paint job:

  1. Splattered bugs. Driving down a busy highway in the summer, you’ve probably noticed bugs splatting on your windshield. But they are also splatting on your paint job and if you leave them on your car, they can actually become permanently etched there. To get rid of them, use a damp soft cloth with a bug and tar remover to wipe them away. It may take a bit of effort, but it is better than having a permanent collection of bug remnants.
  2. Bird droppings. This is more than just a gross annoyance. Bird droppings contain traces of seeds and acidic berries that can scratch, dull and stain your paint job. To clean off your car it is recommended you use a wetted microfiber cloth, using a lifting motion to avoid the grainy substances from scratching your car.
  3. Coffee and soda. Have you ever set your drink on the hood or roof of your car and then spilled it? Both coffee and soda contain acids and colourings that can damage your paint job. Therefore, if you do spill your drink on your car, you should wipe away any liquid immediately using a soft cloth.
  4. Exposure to the sun. You probably know that too much exposure to sun can cause your skin to look old. Well, the same is true of your car’s paint job. Leaving your car out in the sun for extended periods of time will cause the paint to eventually fade. To prevent this, try to keep your car parked in the garage or in a shady area.
  5. Tree sap. Sticky splotches of tree sap have got to be one of the most difficult things to clean from your car’s surface. But cleaning it off as soon as possible is essential because sap contains chemicals that can permanently damage your paint. The best way to remove sap is to use a soft cloth that has been dampened with a rubbing compound or indicated polish. You may have to repeat this procedure several times to fully remove the sap.

Of course, there are many other things that can damage your car’s paint including dust, gravel, pollution, etc. But if you take good care of your car, through regular washing and waxing it will help to preserve your car’s paint for longer.

For more professional help in preserving your car’s finish, you can also get detailing services from most auto body shops. This will help you maintain or bring back that proud feeling that you had when you first drove your car off the lot.

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